I’ll admit it; I was once part of the problem. In high school, I was a telemarketer. I sold cell phones for Cingular and other networks. I sold Dish Network satellite TV. I set appointments for home window repair. I was calling you, right in those prime, annoying hours – between 5-8 pm, weekdays, after work. That is, until I got promoted and had the customers calling me. We’d leave automated voice messages on people’s machines, selling this or that, and when they would call back I would finish the sale, close the deal. That was much better, much less stressful and much easier to deal with.
Now, nobody actually likes telemarketers. Nobody is waiting at home all day just crossing their fingers and hoping, praying, to get a few calls from a telemarketer, right as they sit down to eat dinner, watch their favorite TV show or enjoy some quiet time with a book. But you have to understand that, yes, they do serve a purpose. While it might be an intrusion to most people, many people do appreciate an actual good deal when they are presented with one. After all, telemarketing would no longer be in service if some people weren’t buying, or participating in their surveys. Above all else, remember, you are dealing with a person who is merely trying to do their job, trying to make some money.
Telemarketers are instructed to be friendly, cheery and loud. This can be hard to do, because just as the person sitting at home doesn’t like telemarketers, telemarketers generally don’t like doing their job either. While this may be annoying to many people, there is no other way to go about it. If you received a call from a sullen, downtrodden individual, you certainly wouldn’t buy anything from them. Also, there is such a backlash against telemarketing, that if the person said right away, “Hi, I’m selling…” all that person would hear in return would be click. So, sometimes we have to pretend to be a friend, or somebody you know, just to keep you on the line. Ask for you by first name, or ask how your day was, talk about the weather, before we even get to the point. This might seem a little backhanded, but it’s the only way to do the job.
While telemarketers are taught to have a generally agreeable personality, the people we deal with, do not. Telemarketers are hung up on, over and over again. People curse at us, swear up and down and say spiteful and downright mean-spirited things. This leads me to the single most important and unforgettable rule about how to deal with telemarketers. Never, and I do mean never, be rude to them. Just don’t do it, you will regret it, and you will be called again.
If you, being the intelligent and kind human being that you are, calmly and respectfully say something along the lines of “No, thank you, I’m not interested,” or “Would you please take me off your calling list?” then your very wishes shall be granted. If however, you go on a long tirade, insulting the mothers that brought us into this world and wishing painful injuries upon us, well… you will remain on that list.
A telemarketer can very much imagine himself in the role of Caesar in ancient Rome, watching a gladiatorial contest. Thumbs up, and you survive, you are taken off the list. Thanks for being kind, and yes, you have a great night too. Thumbs down, and well, be prepared for that call, same time tomorrow, and every day, until you learn how to treat a person with even just a small amount of respect. You treat a waiter at a restaurant like dirt, and well, you might want to look very carefully at the food he or she brings you. Same rule applies.
As for the name mispronunciation… we know, and we’re sorry. You have to realize, we are looking at a computer screen, making 100 calls in an hour. The name and address pops up just as your phone starts ringing. We do the best we can, really. At least I did.
So be kind to your telemarketer. If not, at least be cordial, and you shall get what you ask for. If you go down that dark side, well, just be warned- telemarketers will fight fire with fire. You let it be known that you are so easily perturbed and enraged by a simple telemarketing call, and guess what? You’re very own little seventh circle of hell, where you’re being called nonstop by telemarketers, and no matter how angry you get at them, they still call! You’ve been warned. And hey, listen to what they have to say every now and again, you could actually get a great deal on something you need.